To calculate the overall star rating and percentage breakdown by star, we don’t use a simple average. Instead, our system considers things like how recent a review is and if the reviewer bought the item on Amazon. It also analyses reviews to verify trustworthiness.
First, this is a beautiful autobiographical book about the author's interesting background, and I commend the writer for undertaking a great task of introducing the vast culture/history/gastronomy of Korea.
I enjoyed the pictures that introduced various parts of Korea and I enjoyed the author's sentimental undertones about her ties to her Korean childhood.
However, the book is inadequate in some significant ways, namely for the following reasons:
1) it does not introduce authentic Korean recipes - albeit, the book purports to make Korean cooking "accessible" in American kitchens. However, that should not mean making Korean cooking AMERICAN - you lose the authentic value of what it is. You do not call a hot dog KOREAN, just as you would not call a bibimbap AMERICAN. I picked up this book, because I was genuinely excited from seeing the demo clips about the PBS show, and thought it would give a great idea to my friends about REAL Korean cuisine. Sadly, apart from a few handful dishes that are authentically Korean, it only had maybe 10-12 recipes that I could actually use and be happy using.
2) it does not contain PICTURES where they are needed. Think of non-Koreans who are using this book as a guide to make Korean food for the FIRST TIME - and this is another crucial shortcoming of this book in that there are far too many pages of this book which have interesting recipes but no visuals to give the reader an idea of what the final product SHOULD look like. There are however MANY pictures that have nothing to do with the recipes or dish everywhere else (which is why I believe this book is more like a travel log than a recipe book).
3) it does not contain enough healthy options. I did not pick up this book to expect to see hot dog recipe. I wanted to see Korean recipes, because Korean food is healthy - because there are many great options for vegans, vegetarians, anyone who wants something that is not greasy/fat/containing gluten or sugar. Yet, this book does not offer enough options for those. You should have included DIFFERENT types of rice to make a more balanced rice, as well as ways to integrate different side dishes into a Korean meal that would offer different types of food groups.
Korean food is diverse, rich and adaptive to all environments but can still remain true to its essentials. The book was too focused on explaining the Korean culture and slightly too autobiographic, and did not adequately present Korean recipes as they should be known to those cooking Korean food for the first time.
I would not recommend this to anyone who wishes to learn to cook Korean food.
This book is ridiculous. The only reason that it was published is because the writer is married to a famous chef and the South Korean government wants to use it to promote the products of that country. I tried to return this book but it became so difficult I just gave up. No one will take it, either! How many books on Kimchi and lactofermented vegetables are really needed at this point?
Beautiful pictures and somewhat informative, but, unfortunately, recipes given usually did not come out very well. Perhaps more details were needed. It would have been helpful to know the Korean names of the dishes presented as a reference for sampling them in restaurants.